|RamsFan Reaction: Bueno What We've Been Missing?|
Mon 14th Mar 2011 11:36 by I.Saw & Stuart Hughes
The Rams delivered a sensational victory to home fans against the high flying swans and two RamZone reporters were there to deliver us their verdict. A fluke or have the Rams found their groove again?
Stuart Hughes – RamZone Columnist
What a difference a win makes? There was no denying the sense of relief all around Pride Park Stadium as the final whistle blew on Derby County’s 2-1 home victory over high flying Swansea City.
Relief for the players, relief for the manager and coaching staff, relief for the president and chief executive, and relief for the supporters.
Some will point to Ashley Williams’s own goal that handed the Rams a 7th minute lead as fortunate but, as the cliché goes, you make your own luck in football.
Manager Nigel Clough sent his team out with clear instructions to press and hassle the Swans in their own half, a tactic designed to disrupt Swansea City’s slick passing game. And it was a direct result of this high pressing game that created panic in the Swan’s defence and led to the own goal.
It was a start Derby County could only have dreamed of.
John Brayford was named man of the match by the Rams fans text vote but I think it’s unfair to single out individuals in a game that was notable for the incredibly high work-rate, effort and commitment shown by all the Derby County players.
If I was to single out an individual though I’d point to the young Spaniard Alberto Bueno. I thought his ability to control the ball, find space amongst a crowd of players, and link up with team-mates was instrumental in stamping some quality onto what otherwise would’ve been a hard working but ultimately workman-like team performance.
Another plus point I thought was the corner delivery of young American Conor Doyle. On as a second-half substitute, Doyle produced two corners in the space of two minutes that were, arguably, the best corners the Rams have delivered all season.
The first, hard and low into the penalty area saw Daniel Ayala’s shot deflected for another corner. The second, high to the far post saw Steven Davies’s powerful header deflect into the back of the net to double the lead in the 54th minute.
Being picky, too many passes went astray, goalkeeper Frank Fielding raced out, arms flailing, when he should’ve stayed to gift Darren Pratley a headed goal in the 65th minute, and Theo Robinson wasted a wonderful opportunity to settle the nerves late on.
Swansea City showed glimpses of the slick passing that has taken them to 2nd place in the npower Championship and were unlucky at times – hitting the bar twice and missing two or three other half decent chances.
Derby County had other chances too, the best of which was Steven Davies’s thunderbolt of a shot that brought a stunning save at full stretch out of Dorus De Vries.
Sometimes in football you get what you deserve and this game was one of those days. After waiting since November 20th 2010 for a home win, the three points was just reward for a Derby County team who never stopped working and ran their socks off for the full 90 minutes.
I.Saw – RamZone Match Reporter:
Saturday. Pride Park, Swansea the visitors. Second versus somewhere too close to the bottom, it's not only vertigo sufferers who don’t want to look down.
Empty seats abound, season tickets holders absent, early holidays, something more important, who knows, given Derby's form you can't blame them.
Team news, we start Bueno, we start Ward, we start Davies of the Stephen variety. Davies of the Ben isn't even on the bench a victim of giving the ball away on Tuesday perhaps.
It's positive, it's what we've asked for.
We begin on the front foot. It pays dividends.
Williams passes the ball to the keeper who isn’t there. The goal line is and an eagle eyed Assistant Referee adjudges the ball has crossed the line. Sepp Blatter please note.
Television showed (arguably) it was the correct decision but the rider is that the goal kick that caused the problem should have been retaken as the ball was played before it went out of the area by the same Williams who scored. Selective luck and due, due, due for the Rams.
Scoring after seven minutes normally means eighty three of anxiety.
Stephen Davies eased that with a header from a Conan Doyle corner. Doyle on for the hard working Ward who had been utilized as a left winger.
Of course we rode our luck, Swansea hitting the cross bar twice before a back post header beat Savage, Brayford and Fielding to give the Swans brief hope.
Hope that should have been dead and buried had Robinson side footed into the goal after a gilt edge chance came his way courtesy of Bueno who was fed by Pearson when he won the ball on the half way line.
Savage and Beattie tussled, arms and legs akimbo, three sharp blasts of the whistle and both are up and away arms around each others like lovers. It brought smiles rather than yellows.
Finally a word about my man of the match. It's not a popular choice but today in central midfield we harried chased and closed down, the player responsible was Stephen Pearson. Breaking froward he created opportunity, he tackled won the ball.
The telling thing for me those was that his value showed tremendously when Addison came on and tried to play the same role with Pearson moved to the left. A lumbering hunk in the middle with no mobility corresponded with Swansea looking the most dangerous and indeed scoring their goal.
A bold statement but without Pearson I doubt we would have won yesterday.
Anyway who cares we won, two more victories and we should be safe, oh for one of those to be at home to Leeds. A double over the dirties, that'll do me.
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I.Saw & Stuart Hughes